We all know the stages of midterms—not preparing, cramming down information the day before, stressing out about what you don’t know and then running out of the classroom as soon as you're finished. We have all been there. Maybe it has been your strategy for the last couple semesters and maybe it has given you passing grades, but there are five other ways to handle your midterms and feel more prepared.
Obviously. But for real, start at least a week before your test, studying a little bit every day instead of cramming down an entire textbook, three papers and all your notes somewhere into your brain the night before. It might work for some, but staying on top of things is definitely the less stressful way to handle it.
2. Cut out distractions
Perhaps the biggest things that prevents us from studying are the distractions of phones, laptops, TV, video games and music. The list of distractions can actually keep going. It can take the forms of friends, family and events. Figure out the things that eat up your time the most and remove them—at least until you feel prepared enough for your upcoming tests.
You often hear classmates talking about how they pulled all-nighters studying and you often see the consequences—dark circled eyes, foggy brain and moody attitude. Don’t be like your classmates. Get some sleep—but not too much. Studying takes a lot of brain power and you need rest in order for your body to better absorb information. Try to go to bed at decent hour and aim for 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Don’t throw sleep out of the window for your midterms. It might be tempting, but you’ll feel better and more prepared when you're well rested.
4. Take Breaks
Take 10-15 minute breaks between every subject you are studying. Get some fresh air, check social media, grab a snack or do something that allows you to breathe and renew your mind. Give it a try, and you’ll see how much information you’ll be able to absorb. Sounds contradicting, but science proves it can actually be helpful.
If all else fails—and you're feeling like you're at wits end—bring on the caffeine. Sometimes a cup—or three cups—of coffee is what keeps the body and brain energized to accomplish the, dear I say, impossible. If coffee doesn’t meet your fancy, find what works for you. Just remember not to push the daily caffeine limit or drink more than you can physically tolerate.